Mixed Reactions as  FIFA postpones W’Cup qualifiers

‘Tosin Oluwalowo and Ebenezer Bajela

7 May 2021

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Reactions have trailed the decision of the Confederation of African Football to postpone the first round qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

CAF Emergency Committee announced in a statement on Thursday its decision to postpone the opening World Cup qualifiers in the continent due to COVID-19.

“The CAF Emergency Committee, in consultation with FIFA, decided to postpone the CAF qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 that were due to be played in June 2021 after taking into consideration the current challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the need to ensure the optimal playing conditions for all participating teams.

“The qualifiers will now take place in the existing windows of September, October and November 2021, and March 2022,” the statement on CAF website read.

FIFA also confirmed the postponement in a separate statement on their website.

Former Super Eagles goalkeeper, Joseph Dosu, supported the decision to postpone the qualifiers.

“I think CAF had a good reason for the postponement. I believe it was because of the lockdown in Europe; the last time clubs released their players for international matches, the Africans suffered for it.

“Hopefully, before September, the pandemic would have subsided and countries would keep going,” Dosu told The PUNCH.

Some Nigerians, who commented on social media, however, slammed CAF for the decision.

“I don’t understand, if club football happens week in week out, why have qualifiers of just one week postponed? Since it will be closed doors, why postponement again,” Babajide Oluwalana tweeted.

But several other respondents felt the decision was to allow more countries get their stadiums ready, after 10 countries didn’t have their stadiums approved for the qualifiers.

“Issue is that the stadiums in most African countries are not up to standards, hence CAF decided to give those nations three months to fix those issues,” @siibongiile tweeted.

The Super Eagles are grouped in Group C with Cape Verde, Central African Republic and Liberia

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